One on One With Nancy Polls

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Getting Ready for Autumn Around the Home

By Gina Dostler

Shorter days and cooler nights are all coming down the seasonal path.  And the shifting of the sunlight through the living room windows has stirred in me the sing-song declaration to bring the change of seasons into the home. Like the mockingbird singing in multiple tunes, I too want to sing my home into seasonal warmth with colors, textures and scents so I can feel autumn in each room.  I know changing out pillows, throws and slipcovers into warmer, richer colors is the standard routine. But I want a little more creative gestures that are subtle yet influence the feel with a I’m-home-for-the-holiday feel. Throwing on Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” -goes, there are timeless tricks. This year bringing fall colors into the home that not only draw on warm colors but bright ones as well are very popular. Pantone colors especially for Fall 2012 include Olympian Blue, Bright Chartreuse, Tangerine Tango Rose Smoke and Titanium along with French Roast, Honey Gold and Rhapsody. You can simply place a dark brown throw like French Roast on a chair with a matching rug and then add an orangey color such as Tangerine Tango. Or instead of a pillow bring in an orange ottoman for a burst of color that is functional as well – serves as extra seating and offers a place for feet to rest.

Q:  So colors are both with darks and brights for fall? 

A:  Absolutely. Throwing a bit of color here and there, such as a nice turmeric yellow along side more warm colors such as a spice, ginger or tuscany. If you look at Fall colors on a tree, oranges are splashed with flaming reds, bright yellows, along side dark browns,  and traces of green to combine for such beautiful arrangements all done by Mother Nature herself.

Q:  Bringing a bit of nature inside is always a good thing. 

A:  Oh my gosh, I love to bring in colorful leaves and pinecones and place them around candles or simply arranged in single leaves on the mantel in individual glass beakers or miniature vases. Gourds bring such a nice feel to any home. Start with a unified yet unique display with a collection of pumpkins that are the same type but have varied sizes and colors. Stack them or place them side by side and arrange with leaves and grapevines. Include a glass cloche or vase to add a bit of elegance to the earthy setting. A grouping of corn tied together can hang on a cabinet door or placing dried corn or seeds in a jar in specific areas of the house. How about some dried white beans in a hurricane vase with yellow berries? You can try different color beans and berries to bring various colors to a room.

Q: Are there other tricks that can turn my home into the fall season? 

A: Changing decorative books is always a fun project. Cover books with some festive paper such as red floral inspired prints or brown and yellow leafy prints for a consistent and graphic look then incorporate some natural elements and accessories such as maple leaves or acorns into the space to change up a bookcase. Changing curtains to complement a new throw or pillow or even switching artwork around makes a room seem fresh. Pressing different fall leaves into a glass frame hung between sentimental photos can add much warmth to a room. Also get rid of things that aren’t pleasing anymore and always the perennial favorite is to get rid of clutter! And if it is possible, bring furniture around to face a fireplace for the winter months to add a bit of coziness to the home.

Q: How about the quintessential fall centerpiece? 

A:  From beautiful dried roses in reds, yellows and oranges in a copper vase to an old coffee can filled with mint and sage leaves, centerpieces grace the home for each season. Branch clippings in a bowl filled with figs or pears can bring an effortless display for fall. A beautiful small maple branch stabilized in moist floral foam wrapped in a burlap bag on an end table can set off a room nicely. Or even a beautiful large white bowl filled with beautiful green or red apples to bring a subtle hint of autumn to a room.  

Q: What about outside a home? 

A: Mums the word and adding these potted flowers to the front porch with white pumpkins make for a lovely display. Ornamental grasses bunched together in a large vase for right outside or inside the door as well as a lovely wreath of pinecones, miniature pumpkins and sage leaves greeting friends and family outside. Or create a beautiful garland using multicolored dried corn to drape around the entranceway. Fill a cornucopia with dried arrangements to hang on the door or set on the porch. String up small gourds for a natural garland to hang on the fence or around a window. There are so many ideas out there, decorating for fall has something for everyone! I like placing ornamental peppers in a pot to bring some beautiful reds into the mix. My neighbor has hollowed out a giant pumpkin and uses it as a planter full of pretty pansies and colorful annuals.